Chennai: Educational institutions in the State will re-open on Wednesday, September 1, as announced earlier, while a total ban has been imposed on all religious festivals, including the public celebration of Vinayagar Chathurti and mass gatherings for the Velankannai annual festival, till September 15.
All beaches will be out of bounds for the public from Sunday, September 5, and places of worship will remain closed on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays with the present lockdown restrictions continuing till September 15, Chief Minister M K Stalin announced on Monday.
The meeting of medical experts and officials, presided over by Stalin on Monday, took stock of the situation with regard to the spread of Covid-19, looking particularly into vaccination and some districts and neighbouring States reporting a spurt in number of new cases.
Taking into consideration the recommendations of the Union Home Ministry that precautions be taken till September 30, the government decided on the continuation of the present restrictions, besides urging district collectors to take steps locally to prevent the spread of the virus.
Along with colleges, schools, polytechnics and ITIs, the opening of hostels, including those run by private parties for working men and women, have also been allowed to function, though college managements have been asked to ensure that students coming from Kerala have been vaccinated and undergone PT-RCR test to rule out infection.
A set of strict instructions have been issued with regard to the celebration of Vinayaga Chaturthi in public places. No idols can be installed in public, no events can be held and no permission will be given take idols in processions for immersion in water bodies.
Individuals are allowed to install the idol for worship in their homes and immerse them in the water bodies nearby or leave them in the premises or the vicinity of temples, from where the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment department will clear them.
But the instructions made it clear that the permission was only for individuals and not for organizations, saying that strict action would be taken against those violating the norms. Even for individuals, the stretch of the beach from Santhome to Napier Bridge would be out of bounds for immersion of Vinayaga idols.
While shopping for material to install the idols and also hold the poojas, people have been instructed to wear masks and maintain social distancing.
The precautionary measures have been taken in view of the fact that lack of restrictions in the celebration of Onam and Bakrid festivals in Kerala recently is said to be the reason behind the sudden rise in number of new cases.
The reopening of schools and colleges for the academic year 2021-22 will be marked by the strict adherence to the guidelines given by the Government.
School students in uniform and students of government colleges, polytechnics can travel in government buses free of cost by showing the photo-affixed identity card issued by their institutions till the free bus pass was issued by the Corporations, Transport Minister R S Rajakannappan announced.
The Government has laid down a set of Standard Operating Procedures to be followed by educational institutions and has even put out a proper schedule for colleges that have been asked to hold classes in rotation.
Since the government has relaxed most of the restrictions imposed as part of the Coronavirus preventions measures, the reopening of educational institutions was much awaited as students have been staying at home and attending classes online for a very long time....